SHANNON MURREE - Real Estate Representative
Barrie, Innisfil and Orillia Real Estate - Full Real Estate Solutions and Investment

Thinking About Buying Your First Home?


Thinking about purchasing a home of your own? Keep these critical considerations in mind:

How long you plan to live in the home.
If you purchase a home and get a job transfer or decide to move after only a short time, you may end up paying money in order to sell it. The value of your home may not have appreciated enough to cover the costs that you paid to buy the home and the costs that it would take you to sell your home.

HappyPeople03.jpgThe length of time that it will take to cover those costs depends on various economic factors in the area of the home. Most parts of the country have an average of 5% appreciation per year. In this case, you should plan to stay in your home at least 3-4 years to cover buying and selling costs. If the area you buy your home in experiences an economic up turn, the length of the time to cover these costs could be shortened, and the opposite is also true.

How long the home will meet your needs.
What features do you require in a home to satisfy your lifestyle now? Five years from now? Depending on how long you plan to stay in your home, you'll need to ensure that the home has the amenities that you'll need. For example, a two-bedroom dwelling may be perfect for a young couple with no children. However, if they start a family, they could quickly outgrow the space. Therefore, they should consider a home with room to grow. Could the basement be turned into a den and extra bedrooms? Could the attic be turned into a master suite? Having an idea of what you'll need will help you find a home that will satisfy you for years to come.

Your financial health - your credit and home affordability.
Is now the right time financially for you to buy a home? Would you rate your financial picture as healthy? Is your credit good? While you can always find a lender to lend you money, solid lenders are more skeptical if your credit history is not good. Generally, a couple of blemishes on a credit report will make you a good credit risk and could qualify you for the lowest interest rates. If you have more than a couple of blemishes on your report, lenders like Quicken Loans may still provide you with a loan, but you may just have to pay a higher interest rate and fees.

Some say that you should refrain from borrowing as much as you qualify for because it is wiser not to stretch your financial boundaries. The other school of thought says you should stretch to buy as much home as you can afford, because with regular pay raises and increased earning potential, the big payment today will seem like less of a payment tomorrow. This is a decision only you can make. Are you in a position where you expect to make more money soon? Would you rather be conservative and fairly certain that you can make your payment without stretching financially? Make sure that whatever you do, it's within your comfort zone.

To determine how much home you can afford, talk to a lender or go online and use a "home affordability" calculator. Good calculators will give you a range of what you may qualify for. Then call a lender. While some may say that the "28/36" rule applies, in today's home mortgage market, lenders are making loans customized to a particular person's situation. The "28/36" rule means that your monthly housing costs can't exceed 28 percent of your income and your total debt load can't exceed 36 percent of your total monthly income. Depending on your assets, credit history, job potential and other factors, lenders can push the ratios up to 40-60% or higher. While we're not advocating you purchase a home utilizing the higher ratios, its important for you to know your options.

Where the money for the transaction will come from.
Typically homebuyers will need some money for a down payment and closing costs. However, with today's broad range of loan options, having a lot of money saved for a down payment is not always necessary - if you can prove that you are a good financial risk to a lender. If your credit isn't stellar but you have managed to save 10-20% for a down payment, you will still appear to be a very good financial risk to a lender.

The ongoing costs of home ownership.
Maintenance, improvements, taxes and insurance are all costs that are added to a monthly house payment. If you buy a condominium, townhouse or in certain communities, a monthly homeowner's association fee might be required. If these additional costs are a concern, you can make choices to lower or avoid these fees. Be sure to make your realtor and your lender aware of your desire to limit these costs.

If you are still unsure if you should buy a home after making these considerations, you may want to consult with an accountant or financial planner to help you assess how a home purchase fits into your overall financial goals.

5 Things Everyone Needs to Know Before Purchasing Their First Home
You’re going to buy a home. You’re going to invest in your future (instead of investing in your landlord’s future!). You’re going to own a little piece of your city and have a place to truly call your own.
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Government of Canada Programs to Support Homebuyer


Government of Canada Programs to Support Homebuyer

First-Time Home Buyers' (FTHB) Tax Credit

The FTHB Tax Credit offers a $5,000 non-refundable income tax credit amount on a qualifying home acquired after January 27, 2009. For an eligible individual, the credit will provide up to $750 in federal tax relief.

Home Buyers' Plan (HBP)

The Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) is a program that allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 in a calendar year from your registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) to buy or build a qualifying home for yourself or for a related person with a disability.

GST/HST New Housing Rebate

You may qualify for a rebate of part of the GST or HST that you paid on the purchase price or cost of building your new house, on the cost of substantially renovating or building a major addition onto your existing house, or on converting a non-residential property into a house.


Your Team


Your Real Estate Representative
A successful purchase starts with the right representative. In fact, once you’ve selected the best Real Estate person to represent you, it is likely that he or she can recommend other professionals to join your team, taking more of the responsibility off of your shoulders.

Lender (Appraiser)
A bank is not just a bank. Having the right backer can be extremely important – it is your money we’re talking about after all! Make sure that your lender and financial representative is someone with whom you feel comfortable, and be wary of any lender who promises you more than you think you can reasonably afford. Your lenders may or may not require an independent appraisal, and typically will make arrangements for the appraisal themselves. There are also mortgage brokers that offer different lending options.

Lawyer
Your home purchase is far too important a transaction to skimp on legal representation at the risk of leaving yourself open to costly future issues. Find a real estate lawyer who is willing to take the time to answer your questions and who specializes in real estate law.

Insurance Broker
Make sure you have the protection for fire and other potential liabilities. Ask questions of your broker and don't be afraid to ask for lower rates. Also don't be afraid to shop around and make sure your possessions and the building are protected. Your Lawyer will need a "Binding Letter" before your closing so don't leave to the last minute. Also, a good real estate representative will put the fact that you need to get insurance as a condition in your offer. One of the conditions usually is financing and will be a requirement by your lender.  If you don't get insurance, you may not get your financing and no financing means the risk and high liability of not closing on your purchase!

Home Inspector
No home inspection is 100% guaranteed, but a few hundred dollars to catch a major problem now is certainly better than many thousands to correct that ‘surprise’ down the road. Ask your Real Estate Representative for a recommendation.

Contractor
Planning some renovations? You’re not the only one! The home renovation industry is booming, and in some markets, booking a contractor must be done months in advance (that’s a long time to go without a kitchen). Don’t let finding the right contractor slip through the cracks – planning ahead will almost certainly make your renovation smoother, and you contractor will appreciate the advance notice. 

Shannon P. Murree REALTOR®
705-722-7100(Office)
888-822-2606(Toll-Free)
705-722-5246(Fax)

RE/MAX Chay Realty Inc Brokerage
152 Bayfield Street
Barrie, Ontario, L4M 3B5
Canada